Michelle Wagstaff, Class of 1993
Achievements at Elderslie High School
•First in the State for 3 Unit Textile and Design
•Top 10% for 2 Unit Textile and Design
• Recipient of the Premier’s Award.
•To be honest I had no idea what I wanted to be when I left school, until I met my Textiles teacher Mrs Wheeler. She was an inspiration, an amazing and aspirational teacher who is creative and showed me what it was like to be a designer. I fell in love with design.
•I knew I wanted to become Fashion Designer.
Achievements post Elderslie High School
•I was accepted into UTS and completed Fashion and Textiles Degree, 4 year course with second class honours.
•During University, I was a finalist in the Smirnoff Fashion Awards with my designs.
•When finishing University, I decided to do a Post Graduate Diploma in Education, Design and Technology, for the fear of not being able to find a design position. It was a cut throat industry and still is.
•My first job was with Freidelle children’s wear, this was prior to computers and designs were drawn by hand. I was travelling to Paris, London twice a year and was responsible for the range with little or real industry experience.
•Next was Skyegroup which is a group of brands where I designed Oshkosh children’s wear, Pierre Cardin, Industrie Men’s, TYR and Finz swimwear. Being a small company I had to design, source, spec tech, pattern make and follow each design to production.
•I joined Seafolly as Senior Designer. This was a whole new world. I now have a huge team of graphic designers and pattern makers and assistants. I can focus on design and travel to exotic beach locations such as Ibiza, St Tropez, Paris, and London. I was fortunate to have my designs at the Mercedes Fashion Week this year.
•Over my career I have been to many different countries such as Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Paris, China, India, Madrid, Nice, London, New York, Hawaii, Detroit and California.
•There is a lot of pressure to perform, but I love my job. I wouldn't change it. There is nothing better than being overseas and seeing someone enjoy your product or reading comments on Instagram. It's so great to be able to do something you love for a career. It's a passion not a job.